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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Trier, Germany presented by Bishop Leo Schwarz, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Stephan Ackermann of the clergy of the diocese of Trier, Germany, rector of the St. Lambert study house for adult vocations at Burg Lantershofen, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 12,870, population 2,500,000, Catholics 1,592,042, priests 1,068, permanent deacons 143, religious 2,774). The bishop-elect was born in Mayen, Germany in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1987.
RE:NEA/.../SCHWARZ:ACKERMANN                    VIS 20060314 (100)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2006 (VIS) - In a letter sent to bishops throughout the world, Cardinal Ignace Moussa I Daoud, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, invites ecclesial communities to support the Christians who live in the Holy Land, especially by means of the annual Good Friday collection.

  "The Land of the Lord," the letter reads, "continues to be the scene of a conflict that has lasted for decades and deprives Catholic communities and institutions of the adequate means to maintain and promote religious, humanitarian and cultural activities. This distressing situation leads to poverty and unemployment, with serious consequences for families and for the entire population. It also increases the disturbing phenomenon of the constant exodus of Christians, especially young couples for whom there is no prospect of a safe and dignified future.

  "However, the presence of Christians in the Holy Land is more necessary than ever for the peaceful future of the area, as it is also for the good of the whole Universal Church, which ought to find in the Holy Places living communities that profess the Gospel faith."

  In his letter, the prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches goes on to recall Benedict XVI's audience with participants in the meeting of the Assembly of Organizations for Aid to the Eastern Churches (ROACO) in June 2005, during which the Holy Father "emphasized in any case that 'certain positive signs in recent months strengthen the hope that the day of reconciliation between the various communities working in the Holy Land will not be long in coming; for this', he said, 'let us unceasingly pray with trust'. This is the responsibility incumbent upon the Universal Church with regard to the Mother Church of Jerusalem, 'to which,' as the Pope said, 'all Christians have an unforgettable obligation'."

  "Thus, it is a duty of all Catholics throughout the world to accompany the Christian communities of that blessed Land with prayer and concrete solidarity."
CEO/GOOD FRIDAY COLLECTION/DAOUD            VIS 20060314 (340)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, delivered the opening speech at the plenary assembly of his dicastery, which is being held in the Vatican from March 13 to 18.

  The inauguration of the plenary session was preceded, as is traditionally the case, by a Eucharistic concelebration, which was held at 5.30. p.m. yesterday in the chapel of the Vatican's "Domus Sancta Marthae."

  The participants, around 60 members and consultors of the pontifical council, will consider the reception and implementation of John Paul II's Apostolic Letter "The Rapid Development," addressed to those responsible for social communications and published in February 2005.

  During the course of its plenary assembly, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications will receive reports from committees and departments of social communications, both at a continental and national level, concerning the activities they have carried out over the last year, thus providing an overall vision of the situation of Catholic social communications in the world.
CON-CS/PLENARY/FOLEY                            VIS 20060314 (180)


VATICAN CITY, MAR 14, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following the Holy Father's audience with Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration to journalists:

  "The cordial discussions, which lasted for around half an hour, began with an acknowledgement of the good relations between the Holy See and the Arab Republic of Egypt, and of the situation of inter-religious affairs in that country.

  "The meeting provided an opportunity to consider themes relative to the prospects for a stable peace in the Middle East. A profound exchange of ideas took place regarding the situation in Iraq, with some attention also being given to questions concerning the Islamic Republic of Iran."
OP/EGYPT:IRAQ:IRAN/MUBARAK                        VIS 20060314 (140)

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